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I’ll admit it right up front. I’m not a 12″ afficianado, not by a long shot. I’m a child of the 80’s and my first real introduction to the 12″ scale was with the Hall of Fame figures, which, admittedly is a pretty narrow sampling to pull from. Granted, as Hasbro returned to the 12″ scale with the Real American Hero characters, I double dipped in both scales sporadically, but I’ve still never really explored just what companies do with the 1:6 scale these days. I’ve heard of Dragon, BBI, Hot Toys, and yes, Sideshow, but I’ve never really had a reason to fully explore those options.

Well, now I do. And as an introduction to the 12″ scale, I bit the bullet on the Sideshow Collectibles’ Snake Eyes…and if this is what it’s like in the 12″ world, then man, I’ve been missing a lot. Of course, when my main experience with the 12″ scale involves barely poseable Hall of Fame figures and the questionable Hasbro offerings of the past 6 or 7 years, I guess it’s easy to be impressed.

PACKAGING

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Even before I got my actual hands on the figure, I was pretty impressed. The box and presentation of the item are amazing, with a very nice fold-out display box and a totally concealed magnetic “clasp” that holds the box closed. There is no glue or tape anywhere, allowing for easy access to the product inside, and if you want to store or display the figure in the box, it’s very easy to remove the figure, then put it back in. The elaborate “art” and the very familiar “blast” background are all fully intact and do wonders for how the figure looks, even without getting the gear all on or the figure on a shelf.

THE ACCESSORIES

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Another one of Sideshow’s specialties are the accessories. From what I can tell, Sideshow seems to make a habit of going above and beyond to equip their figures with about as many potential weapons and gear as they possibly can. From your basic machine gun to various swords, knives, grenades, etc… Snake Eyes comes fully stacked with about as many accessories as you can imagine, including hands and feet that can be swapped out (and swapped VERY easily, I might add). The plug and socket system holds the hands and feet securely in the arms and legs, yet they slide out almost seamlessly and lock in when you want to change things up. If I have any complaints, it’s that he only has one “trigger finger” hand, which means he can’t hold two guns at once, or hold a realistic looking two-hand gun firing position either, both of which are somewhat disappointing.

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His swords are pretty insane, with an awesomely well-detailed blade very reminiscent of his ’85 version, and the version that’s slated to appear in the film. He’s also got a shorter “straight sword” and sheath, and the strap for the sheath is well adorned with pouches that makes the figure look a lot less “naked”.

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Along with the blades, Snake Eyes comes with two firearms as well, a familiar Uzi with folding stock, removable magazine and silencer, as well as the Socom pistol with the laser sight, mag, and silencer for that one, as well. It also has a slide-back hammer for added realism. These two items are among my favorite parts of this figure with some incredible attention to detail.

Beyond the awesome guns and swords, you get a pretty normal compliment of accessories, from grenades to a small combat knife. The sheer attention to detail, however, is probably what this figure will be most known for, from the different labels on the different types of grenades, to the intricate sculpting of the sword hilts, to all of the separate magazines and everything in between. Upon cursory glance the figure looks really nice. But when you investigate it closely, it only gets better. A truly amazing piece of art from the sewn uniform and pouches to the different weapons and complimentary accessories. It truly balances the line between “toy” and “art” quite nicely.

However, that may be an issue to a lot of folks. I find that G.I. Joe collectors in particular are much more fans of the “toy” aspect than the display or collectible aspect, and from that perspective, there are some shortcomings to this figure. The somewhat loose joints do make posing a bit of a challenge, it is a bit frustrating to find that two of the mag sheaths are not large enough for the magazines, and as I mentioned, it feels like maybe we should have gotten another trigger finger or open hand for some better positions.

THE FIGURE

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Straight out of the box, Snake Eyes looks pretty damn cool, though he does look just a bit “naked” without the strap on his chest. His holsters, pouches, kneepads, etc… come all fully intact and ready to be populated with grenades, a pistol, weapon magazines, or whatever other little tidbits you can get your hands on. Snake Eyes actually has more pouches and sheaths then he has stuff to go into them, which is a neat touch. Even if some of the assorted pouches are empty, there is definitely ample room for all random gear to be placed.

The first thing that strikes me is the elaborate construction of Snake Eyes’ gear. Each and every piece of gear is stitched, buckled, and woven/tied with care. I obviously have no clue at exactly how Sideshow does their construction or design, but I do know that the end result is pretty fantastic.

I did have some minor issues, mostly with the pouches at Snake Eyes’ ribs, designed to house his ammo magazines. The bottom pouches on each side seemed a bit too small, and I actually couldn’t physically put the mag where it belonged. Perhaps part of it was my own trepidation, because I didn’t want to tear the stitching, but that was a bit concerning to me, as I was hoping to have every pouch equipped correctly to get the figure on display.

From the perspective of the figure itself, the range of motion and poseability of the joints are just fantastic. His elbows and knees and shoulders and neck, and…well…pretty much any part of this figure whatsoever, can bend and move extremely realistically. He can crouch, he can kneel, he can assume almost every single position that a real human body could get into. But, this is a double edged sword. Because of the range of motion, the joints seem to be somewhat loose. I’m not sure if that’s by design or not, but whatever the reason, his neck is a bit floppy, and his knees kind of wobble a bit. But. even with those somewhat loose joints, he can get into and hold just about any position you can think of, which is HUGE in my book.

But I can see some folks having some issues with the joints, especially considering the price of the figure. As you can see in the pictures, though, in my case, it didn’t impact what positions the figure can achieve in the least.

FINAL ANALYSIS

I have heard complaints about the placement of the visor on the head, but I don’t have many problems with that myself. I think it looks fine, and in a static pose in a display position on a shelf this figure blows my mind. If you can overlook some of the minor quibbles, I think you’ll find a lot to like…but the biggest issue is that for $120.00 most fans think those “minor quibbles” shouldn’t exist, and to a certain point, I would agree with that. Regardless, even at the high price point, I find this to be a terrific figure, worth the money to me, and something that makes all other 12″ figures that I’ve ever seen pale in comparison. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on COBRA Commander when he finally arrives…he’s the one I’ve really been waiting for.

I will say that any G.I. Joe fan who is a Real American Hero fan should at least give this figure a try.  He is a great representation of G.I. Joe’s infamous Commando with a ton of great gear, amazing poseability and a perfect “look”.  Sideshow is already sold out, and I think the potential for these on the secondary market is pretty huge.  If you want him, get him, and get him now from BriansToys!

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